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Lamb with apricots

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Lamb with apricots

The Persian influence on Indian food can be seen in the apricots in this dish. Stewing chops are best, but you can use any cut of lamb including boned pieces of leg lamb.


  • 200 gram packet dried apricots, not dessert ones
  • 2 large onions, peeled
  • ¼ cup oil, preferably light
  • 3 fat, juicy cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 6 whole green cardamoms
  • 1½ teaspoons chilli powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 tomatoes, blanched, peeled and finely chopped
  • 750 grams stewing lamb
  • ¾ teaspoon garam masala
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon each white wine vinegar and sugar


  1. Soak the apricots in a cup of water for 1 hour.
  2. Finely chop the onions. Heat oil in a large saucepan and cook the onions for 12-15 minutes stirring regularly, until brown but not burnt. Add garlic and ginger and cook a further 3 minutes. Add cinnamon and cardamom and cook for 2 minutes more before stirring in chilli powder and cumin.
  3. Add diced tomatoes and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. This should leave you with a thick, fragrant, pulpy mixture.
  4. Add the lamb, garam masala, pepper and salt and turn well in the sauce. Add a cup of water and then reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook slowly for about 45 minutes until the lamb is tender. The sauce should be quite thick, but if it has reduced too much, stir in half a cup of water.
  5. When the lamb is cooked, stir in well-drained apricots, vinegar and sugar and cook a further 10 minutes before serving.

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